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Many factors in infectious disease uptick
November 2nd, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Many factors in infectious disease uptick

Cases of some infectious diseases that haven’t been seen in decades are making a comeback. In California there are nearly 6,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and other diseases such as measles, mumps and tuberculosis have returned. There are several reasons why these diseases are back: Some are cyclical; some have become resistant to current vaccines; some vaccines wear off so booster shots are needed; and there is the fear that some vaccines could cause other illnesses. Immigration also can be a factor, especially for tuberculosis but also for other diseases long eradicated from this country but still occurring in other parts of the world.

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'Whooping' sound is heart-wrenching
October 22nd, 2010
04:49 PM ET

'Whooping' sound is heart-wrenching

The sound of a child with pertussis, or whooping cough, is one of the most heart-wrenching and horrible sounds a parent can hear. It’s a coughing fit that leaves the patient gasping for breath, which is what gives it that “whooping” sound.

Katie Kisil’s 9-year-old-daughter, Payton, is recovering from whooping cough. “It was a constant cough,” said Kisil. “At night, she wasn’t able to sleep. She was just coughing throughout the night,” she said. Payton’s cough was so violent, that she vomited.

Her pediatrician, Dr. Marie Medawar, said although many have been vaccinated, or even if we’ve already had the disease, immunity wanes and it could be contracted again. She said anyone from age 11 on, should get a tetanus/pertusis booster shot - even parents, grandparents and pregnant women, to prevent an infant from contracting the disease.

“Because that’s the highest risk,” Medawar said. “If an infant gets whooping cough, it could be fatal,” she said.

Listen to the Kisils' story:


October 8th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Confused by new health insurance options?

Employers across the nation are working to understand health care reform and its impact on their businesses.

Business owners in Los Angeles tell CNN's Jim Roope that the federal government has not done a very good job of reaching out to businesses to help them be in compliance.

“The first word I think of is uncertainty,” said Michael Cusumano, managing director of Cusumano Real Estate Group. “On a daily basis we’re worried about how to make payroll and how to survive in this economy."

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September 30th, 2010
09:31 AM ET

Living with early onset Parkinson’s

Five to 10 percent of the estimated 50,000 Americans who get a new Parkinson’s diagnosis each year are under the age of 50. It’s called “early onset Parkinson’s."

Two people suffering from “early onset Parkinson’s" shared their stories with CNN Radio’s Jim Roope.

Mike Weinman's condition was diagnosed when he was 36 years old. He’s been living with this progressive disease for 10 years. “Do I think I got screwed? Yeah, bottom line,” said Weinman. “But you have to look at what you have instead of what you don’t.”

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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